Back toward the end of July, I blogged about a new store that replaced a DVD store in the mall here called Itz A Puzzle. I wondered how a puzzle store could do more business than a DVD store, and I thought it was pretty foolish for such a store to try and make a go in what is considered to be a high-end mall.
I was right. When I came into work this morning, Itz A Puzzle is no more. There is a white facade in front of the store with the announcement: “Coming Soon! Another Exciting Store!” Who knows what the store will be, but if the current trend for that particular spot continues, it will probably end up selling things like slide rules (which wouldn’t be too bad, really, because I’d love to get my hands on a good slide rule.)
In the mall above which I work, there used to be a store that sold videos (DVDs, etc.) right between Haagen Daas and Johnny Rockets. A few weeks ago, that store closed up. In it’s place, opened a new store called Itz a Puzzle, which is a retail store that sells, you guessed it, puzzles. (And I don’t mean Sudoku.)
The stores occupied the same space, so that same square footage is being used. The puzzle store looks much emptier than the video store in both stock and patronage. And since this is a “high end” mall, I imagine the rents must be astronomical. So puzzle #1: how is it that a store like Itz A Puzzle expects to survive when a store that sells videos and DVDs could not?
This leads to puzzle #2: is there really more of a demand for old fashioned jigsaw puzzles than there is for DVDs? This would really surprise me, especially since I can’t recall the last time I saw someone doing a jigsaw puzzle, save perhaps for a 6 year-old in a doctors office waiting room. Why replace one store, with another store for which there is less demand?
I can’t figure it out. Itz a puzzle, alright.